BY NOW, we should all be well-versed into the importance of staying put. If it's not essential, it can wait! Here's a state-by-state guide to parks and track closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parks Victoria has closed a number sites, including all campsites, camping grounds and caravan parks; all facilties within parks (visitor centres, historic sites); a number of beaches; and all playgrounds, picnic shelters, rotundas, toilets and viewing platforms.
These will all remain closed until the advice from the Victorian Chief Health Office is received. According to the Parks Victoria website: "Inspections will occur after this date to ensure that campsites, caravan parks and camping grounds are compliant.
Inspections will be carried out by DELWP and Parks Victoria staff and Local Government authorised officers over the coming weeks. If caravan parks and camping grounds operators fail to comply following this, the Victoria Police will be contacted."
For more information, please visit:
New South Wales
NSW National Parks has banned camping, including backcountry camping, and closed visitor centres and historic sites, as well as a number of high-visitation areas (beaches, picnic areas, lookouts, etc.).
However, while national parks remain open (walking tracks and low-traffic open spaces), NSW Parks encourages people to postpone any non-essential travel.
More info: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/
From midnight, March 26, the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife service closed all national parks, reserves, campgrounds and facilities to recreational and tourism use, in an effort to limit non-essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This means that all short walks, day walks, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, tours and camping are now closed to the public," the PWS website says.
For more information, visit: https://parks.tas.gov.au/
According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service of South Australia, all campgrounds, accomodations and facilities have been closed in parks throughout the state. However, unlike most other states, parks and reserves remain open for those who are not required to self-isolate, as long as social-distancing protocols are applied.
"Spending time in nature during stressful events is beneficial for mental health," the Parks SA website says. "The decision to close South Australia’s parks will be based on advice from SA Health".
More info: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/
According to the Queensland Government's official 'Parks and Forests' website, a number of closures and restrictions have been enforced indefinitely. This includes all camping areas and campsites in national parks, forests and recreation areas, as well as all barbecue facilities within these areas.
"Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, QPWS staff will monitor visitation rates for compliance with Health Directives and any identified high COVID-19 risks with the possibility of further changes to park closures as the situation continues to evolve," the website says.
Information is available for exemptions and for those who have purchased a permit, as well as an in-depth list of the closures within all parks.
Head to: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/
From April 1, the WA government banned all travel between regions in Western Australia, with penalties enforced for those not abiding by the restrictions. In addition, campsites and campgrounds within national parks have also been closed. Travel exemptions are in placde for work-related travel, as well as medical and compassionate reasons.
"People should stay home, not travel, and always observe social distancing requirements," the DPAW website says.
More information: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/
The Northern Territory has a number of restrictions in place, including closing remote-area communities to non-essential travel. In addition, all campgrounds and swimming spots in NT national parks and reserves have been closed due to the pandemic.
Check all parks and reserves here: https://nt.gov.au/
For information, visit: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/